RENTON, Wash. -- During Pete Carroll's Thursday news conference, there was one question he clearly appreciated more than others.
It was when a reporter asked about the Seattle Seahawks' decrease in penalties this season.
"Wow. Good. How about it?" he said. "I kind of don’t even want to talk about it, it’s a no-hitter kind of thing around here. I’m really fired up. Fired up. We’ve worked really hard. I don’t know that we’re emphasizing any differently or any better. I think our guys are more experienced, they understand, we’re making good decisions. Let’s see if we can hold on to that. In a time, which is interesting, in a time when the penalties are higher than they’ve ever been, there we are at the other end of the spectrum again. For some reason, we find ourselves in these situations often. We try to max it out, take advantage of it."
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Seahawks have been called for 18 penalties, tied for second fewest in the NFL. The league average is 23.2.
The Seahawks have been whistled for 179 penalty yards, which is 12th fewest. And overall, the team has played clean games. Their opponents have been penalized 16 times, which is tied for fewest in the league.
It's only three games, but this has been a different story from last year when the Seahawks had the seventh-most penalties. According to the Football Outsiders Almanac, Seattle's opponents were only called for 85 penalties last year, the fewest in the league by a wide margin. No other team was at fewer than 110.
Overall, there's no clear correlation between penalties and winning. But with coaches constantly trying to get players to cut down on mental mistakes, it's no surprise that Carroll is fired up about his team's improvement in this area early in the season.